Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 20, 2012

Business & Politics

TSX approves Fibrek’s private placement of special warrants to Mercer

Canada News Wire press release
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL –  Fibrek Inc. (“Fibrek” or the “Company”) announced today that the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) has determined to accept notice of Fibrek’s private placement (the “Private Placement”) of special warrants (the “Special Warrants”) to Mercer International Inc. (“Mercer”) and has conditionally approved the listing of the common shares issuable on conversion of the Special Warrants. Completion of the Private Placement is subject to customary conditions.

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Workers take 10 per cent pay cut in Catalyst labour deal

Victoria Times Colonist
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a deal that includes a 10 per cent pay cut, debtridden Catalyst Paper has negotiated a lifeline with unions representing more than 1,000 workers at its mills in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River. B.C.’s biggest pulp and paper company is anticipating savings of between $18 million and $20 million annually over five years. The agreements will run from May 1 to April 30, 2017. “Approval of the new labour agreements lets everyone know that the people who make up Catalyst are taking the actions necessary to save jobs and ensure we have a viable and competitive business for the future,” Kevin Clarke, president and chief executive officer, said Monday.

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Raw log exports remains coastal issue: CILA

Prince George Citizen
March 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

While raw log exports are making headlines across the province, it remains primarily a coastal issue, according to Central Interior Logging Association executive director Mary-Anne Arcand. Exports of raw logs – trees which have been harvested but not manufactured into higher-value products – increased by 136 per cent between 2009 and 2011, according to a report by the B.C. NDP. On the coast, approximately 40 per cent of all trees cut were exported as raw logs. “[But] there is not a lot in the central interior,” Arcand said. “We have a lot of [local] markets for this wood as lumber. I did a survey of our members… for 80 per cent of our members, it’s not on their radar.”

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Hinton Wood Products to hold open house in Edson

Edson Leader
March 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hinton Wood Products will hold an open house in Edson this month when company representatives will provide information on its detailed forest management plan, new general development plan and stand-tending plan… The open house will be held at the Edson and District Leisure Centre on Mar. 21… The company holds another open house in its home community, Hinton, on Mar. 22.

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Catalyst reaches 5-year cost-cutting deal with unions at 3 BC mills

The Canadian Press
March 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Insolvent Catalyst Paper has reached cost-cutting labour agreements with unions representing more than 1,000 paper and pulp workers at three mills in British Columbia. Catalyst said it expects annual savings of $18 million to $23 million under the five-year deals with workers at its Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River mills…”Approval of the new labour agreements lets everyone know that the people who make up Catalyst are taking the actions necessary to save jobs and ensure we have a viable and competitive business for the future,” said president and CEO Kevin Clarke.

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Fibrek takeover battle heads back to court

Globe and Mail
March 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fibrek Inc. is heading back to court to defend its decision to issue takeover suitor Mercer International Inc. special warrants. Under threat of a hostile takeover by AbitibiBowater Inc., Fibrek sought to issue Mercer International 32 million special warrants, which, if approved, would make it harder for Abitibi to attain the approval of two-thirds of Fibrek shareholders. However, the proposed private placement was very contentious because Mercer has also bid for Fibrek, and the target’s board of directors have backed Mercer’s bid.

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Tembec plans $310M investment in Temiscaming, Que.

The North Bay Nugget
March 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tembec will invest $310 million to make its manufacturing facility in Temiscaming, Que., one of the most competitive mills in the global pulp and paper market, according to a media release issued by the company. Tembec announced its first phase Friday. The plan will mean an increase in annual production of green electricity, reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions and increase the plant’s annual production capacity of specialty cellulose. The investment is worth $190 million.

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Committee to meet with mill retirees

The Western Star
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

CORNER?BROOK — The Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Union Pensioners Committee will be meeting with retired mill employees next week to update them on proposed changes to their pension plan. Spokesperson Gerald Parsons said there are roughly 500 pensioners from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and its predecessor, Bowaters, who will be affected by the changes parent company Kruger Inc. is proposing. He said the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has granted Kruger the right to seek the permission of pensioners to change the funding of their pensions.

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Biomass power company expanding into US market

Power Engineering Magazine
March 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Imperative Energy Ltd., a provider of biomass heat and power solutions in the UK and Ireland, said it is expanding its presence in the U.S. market with the announcement of two corporate milestones. The first is a partnership with Northline Energy, a Lynnwood, Wash.-based provider of biomass combustion systems… The second development is a proposed Bio-Park in Taunton, Mass. 

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UPM to rebuild biological effluent treatment plant at Pietarsaari pulp mill in Finland

Lesprom Network
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

UPM will begin a large construction project at its Pietarsaari pulp mill to rebuild the mill’s effluent treatment plant. The circa Euro 30 million investment will cover the rebuild of all of the main phases of waste water treatment… UPM Pietarsaari pulp mill is the biggest pulp mill in Europe with an annual production capacity of around 800,000 tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp.

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Stora Enso to build 1.6 billion Euros pulp and board mill in China

Papernet.se
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Stora Enso plans to build a plantation-based integrated board and pulp mill at Beihai city in Guangxi, southern China. The investment totals around 1.6 billion Euros. The mill site will initially include a 450,000 tons per year paperboard machine and pulp capacity of 900,000 tons per year, including necessary energy plant and auxiliary facilities. The ultimate target is to expand the paperboard capacity to 900,000 tons at a later stage.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Michael Green Unveils ‘Tall Wood’ Tower for Vancouver Along With Instruction Manual for Building Wooden Skyscrapers

Inhabitat
March 20, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

The Tall Wood project is part of a small but distinguished group of ‘woodscrapers’ proposed for everywhere from Norway and Austria all the way to Australia. Green’s vision was inspired by the sheer amount of energy required to create the materials for a common building – most of which must be sourced long distances. Canadian forests, if well managed (a big if), can produce an abundance of raw carbon squestering materials to build our cities. While Green’s proposal is for a 30 story tower, he thinks that taller buildings could result from more research.

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Domtar Uses ‘Mad Men’ Season Premiere to Promote the Benefits of Reading on Paper

Justmeans
March 19, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Domtar Corporation today announced that with Newsweek planning a retro edition to promote the new season of “Mad Men,” Domtar will run a 1960s-style ad that shows while we live in a more digital age, people still read faster on paper. “We’ve seen studies that show whether you’re an executive or a millennial, people prefer to read on paper, and it’s faster to read on paper,” said Lewis Fix, Domtar’s Vice-President of Sustainable Business and Brand Management. …The Domtar ad … shows a boy dressed as a superhero and reading a comic book…

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Architecture book lays blueprint for dementia care

Victoria Times Colonist
March 19, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

An elderly man roams the halls of a long-term care facility, gripping the handrail beside him, eyes cast downward. He moves slowly, only stopping when he reaches a doorway… Suggested design features include incorporating wood in ceilings to diffuse sound, building central nursing stations that are both welcoming and easily accessible, installing therapeutic baths, taller windows for more light and ventilation — and continuous handrails to ease movement.

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MPP proposes bill to increase wood frame construction to six storeys

The North Bay Nugget
March 19, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A private member’s bill expected to be announced Tuesday would amend Ontario’s building code sooner to increase the height limit of some buildings to boost the lumber industry. “It’s surprising how many companies in North Bay are part of the massive supply chain of the forestry sector,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said Monday. Fedeli wants to follow British Columbia’s lead by increasing the height restrictions of wood-frame buildings to six storeys from four storeys.

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Research consortium for wood in mid-rise buildings

National Research Council Canada
March 19, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Designers and developers in Canada and around the world are becoming increasingly interested in expanding the use of wood as a structural material for buildings. Applications include wood-based structural elements in higher buildings, such as mid-rise structures (5-6 storey), and those encompassing larger areas. Before wood can be used more extensively in these applications, research needs to be carried out to ensure that building code requirements can be met in key areas of performance. A consortium has been established to develop technical data pertinent to the use of wood-based structural products in mid-rise buildings. The focus will be on structural integrity, fire safety, acoustics, and building envelope performance.

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After Almost 10 Years, Bald Head Island Approved Construction of 520-Foot Timber Bridge by York Bridge Concepts

By York Bridge Concepts
Digital Journal
March 20, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The project consists of roadway improvements as well as construction of this two-way, timber bridge that crosses marshlands and connects the residential area to the harbor village. …Nine treated lumber trucks and six hardware deliveries of galvanized steel were transported to Bald Head Island for the construction of this mammoth timber bridge. Built on-site from sawn timber to finished product, this 5-ton capacity bridge was designed by York Bridge Concepts for two-way pedestrian traffic, including foot traffic, electric trams and bicycles.

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Iron Nanospheres Turn Plants Into Plastics

Design News
March 20, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A new type of catalyst made of iron nanoparticles enables the efficient conversion of non-food plant waste into the key components of materials such as plastics, medicines, and paint. The catalyst was developed by chemists at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, together with Dow Chemical’s Benelux operation and Delft University of Technology. Plant waste, consisting of wood-like biomass, such as branches, plant stalks, and pruning waste, is converted at high temperature into synthesis gas… Other technologies for fabricating products of the same quality primarily from plant waste have existed for some time. But the process involved so many steps that these technologies were not efficient or economical enough to be used on a large scale, said de Jong.

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Forestry

Ensuring the future of forestry

Often-overlooked industry a much-needed source of diversification in products, markets
Edmonton Journal
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a province heavily dependent on the energy sector, it is easy to forget that other industries make important contributions to our economy. Forestry, comprising wood products, bio energy, and pulp and paper companies, is certainly one of the industries often overlooked. Based on 2010 information, the industry sells $4 billion in goods and services and generates $200 million in personal and corporate tax revenues per year. About 18,000 Albertans are employed directly or indirectly in forestry, and most of the over $3 billion spent by forestry companies each year is in more than 50 communities in rural Alberta.

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Process in place to remove private land from woodlots

Prince George Citizen
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A regulatory change allowing the removal of private land from a woodlot licence is now in effect and winning applause, although holders will still have to jump through a few hoops before securing the go-ahead. The change, which came into effect on Saturday, comes after an amendment to the Forest Act was introduced in the fall in answer to licensees who want to pursue other opportunities with their private land such as agriculture and ranching. Others have said they want to sell their private land for financial reasons such as retirement planning.

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Experts look south for wildfire protection guidance

Canadian Press
March 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — Experts are looking south of the border for ideas on how to better protect municipalities and homes in Canada’s forests from being ravaged by wildfires. In the United States, federal agencies have helped 720 communities in 40 states develop plans to prevent forest, brush and grass fires from destroying property and threatening lives. A non-profit group wants to use the Firewise Communities USA program as a model for Canada, but warns long-term success will depend on sustained funding from Ottawa.

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Spring Equinox and Record Temps Bring Questions about Early Tree Planting

Trees Ontario & Partners Warn Against Premature Planting
press release
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – With spring arriving with record temperatures on Tuesday March 20th at 1:14:27 AM, Trees Ontario and partners are eagerly preparing for the upcoming tree planting season that will see approximately 3 million trees planted across southern Ontario. Although Ontario faced a relatively mild winter and record-breaking seasonal temperatures, Trees Ontario advises the public to assess planting conditions in their local communities before putting trees into the ground.

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UC research tests new tool to guide reintroduction of the American chestnut

Science Codex
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The death of the American Chestnut due to an Asian bark fungus accidentally introduced to the United States had profound environmental and economic consequences since the tree was highly valued for its strong, workable lumber and a variety of wildlife from deer to birds to bears relied upon the chestnut for food. Ongoing efforts to reintroduce the American Chestnut are labor intensive and expensive, in part because they rely on genetic cross breeding to produce a tree that is – genetically speaking – primarily an American Chestnut but endowed with the Chinese Chestnut blight-resistance genes. 

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Why USGBC Should Recognize SFI – Support Forest Professionals and Responsible Forest Practices

by Michael T. Goergen Jr., Executive Vice-President and CEO, Society of American Foresters
SFI Good For Forests blog
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

FSC or better’ is neither logical nor scientific. Especially when it continues to reinforce misconceptions about third-party forest certification and responsible forest practices. Certification programs like Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and American Tree Farm System do so much to advance our work and our profession. Certification empowers foresters, giving us the authority and tools to work with landowners on actions that are necessary to support sustainable forest management.

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Why USGBC Should Recognize SFI: Beyond Green Construction – Why Papermakers Should Pay Attention

by Dr. Laura M. Thompson, Director, Technical Marketing and Sustainable Development, Sappi Fine Paper, North America
SFI Good For Forests blog
March 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed one of the leading rating tools for design, construction, operations and maintenance of buildings. Their LEED rating tool is built upon a point system based on a breadth of criteria for energy and environmental design. One criteria addresses sourcing wood from certified forests. Within LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, points are awarded for procurement of consumables (e.g. envelopes, tissue products, and copy paper) that are FSC certified. In a recent update to their rating tool, USGBC has indicated that points for certified wood would be awarded for products that are “FSC or better.” This designation has caused quite a stir amongst many stakeholders.

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US Forest Service providing another $1M for pine beetle battle in Black Hills National Forest

The Republic
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

RAPID CITY, S.D. — U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem says the Forest Service is making an additional $1 million available to fight pine beetles in the Black Hills National Forest. The South Dakota Republican says the pine beetle epidemic is a “slow-motion disaster” and the $1 million from carryover funds from previous years is welcome news.

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Montana Enviros Squabble Over National Forest Project

Adventure Journal (blog)
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In Montana’s Lolo National Forest outside Missoula, a project calls for road removal, logging, and burning to thin old growth, remove noxious weeds, and restore the riparian corridor because run-off from old road beds is silting the waterways. And the Colt Summit Project has major environmental backing: The Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation, and Montana Wilderness Association all signed a friend of the court brief in support of the five-year project on 4,330 acres of the Lolo National Forest.

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Bigger owl habitat proposed

Record-Searchlight
March 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Timber industry officials and environmentalists are criticizing a proposal that would nearly double the acreage designated as critical habitat for the northern spotted owl. After the initial attempt in 2008 to set new habitat boundaries failed to pass legal and scientific review, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are trying again. The current proposal includes nearly 10 million acres in California, Washington and Oregon as critical habitat for the spotted owl. That includes some acreage in Shasta, Tehama, Trinity and Siskiyou counties.

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Forest Informatics, Inc. and USDA-FS-PSW Redding Announce a New Hybrid Model for Young Plantations in California and Oregon

Yahoo! Contributors Network
March 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Forest Informatics, Inc., a forestry consulting company, announced today, in partnership with PSW-Redding, the release of an updated CONIFERS forest growth model with the SWO-HYBRID variant and the updated interface package, rconifers, to run the model from the R environment, a freely-available and open-sourced statistical computing and graphics environment. The new SWO-HYBRID variant of the CONIFERS model allows forest managers and researchers to evaluate plant growth with a process-driven system at the individual tree and shrub level and gives them a platform to test their assumptions about planting densities, species compositions, and vegetation management for young forests under various weather conditions.

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Deforestation rates double in the Congo Basin: Report

CIFOR Forests Blog
March 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

DOUALA, Cameroon_ Although the level of deforestation in the world’s second-largest tropical forest remains relatively low compared to similar regions in Asia and Latin America, the latest satellite-based monitoring data has revealed that the annual rates of gross deforestation in the Congo Basin have doubled since 1990, according to a new study. The report, State of the Forest, is the most recent comprehensive assessment of forest cover in the six-nation Congo Basin, Central Africa. It cites population growth, immigration, economic development and global demand for natural resources as the major pressures on the forests.

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Xerox says it’s not involved in controversial logging effort

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Xerox Corp. is denying it does business with an Singapore-based paper giant, Asia Pulp & Paper Co., that is currently the target of a Greenpeace International campaign. The environmental activist organization has been waging a publicity campaign in recent months against AP&P, charging it with illegally logging ramin, an endangered species of wood in Indonesia, which is in turn threatening the habitat of Sumatran tigers. As part of Greenpeace’s campaign, it is telling people to contact a number of companies, including Xerox, to urge them not to do business with AP&P.

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Groundwater not enough for parched forest

Science Network Western Australia
March 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

DROUGHT and competition stress are killing trees in WA’s northern jarrah forests at an unprecedented rate that researchers fear could destroy whole sections of bushland. Scientists at Murdoch University’s school of biological sciences assessing forest health from the air over the course of last year discovered large patches of dead and dying trees scattered across the forest on a scale never seen before. Post doctoral fellow George Matusick says 1600ha was severely affected—1.6 per cent of an 8.8 per cent sample of 16,800ha forest—with another five per cent discoloured.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Replanting Program Sees Moderate Interest

HQ Prince George
March 19, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Forests Ministry is reviewing a small list of companies who have expressed an interest in reforesting a small amount of Crown land in exchange for carbon credits. The land in question would be fire or pine beetle killed areas not suitable for harvest. Minister Steve Thomson says four companies have responded to the government’s call for proposals and he is hoping to give one or two of them a go-ahead in the near future.

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Senior official visits

KRBD FM Radio
March 19, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ALASKA – Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment… Butch Blazer has been on the job since October. This is his first visit to the country’s largest national forest… “Looking at woody biomass development in this country is … one of the pieces that President Obama has in his strategy. He says the administration recognizes the importance of the development of biomass energy in the region Looking at all alternative energy sources in regards to meeting the energy demands of this country,” he says. Looking at Southeast Alaska … how can we look at utilizing woody biomass to help meet the energy needs of this particular area and for the country?”

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Climate change: make industry pay for carbon emissions, US congressman says

Putting a price on carbon will benefit environment and cut deficit by raising money, Henry Waxman argues
The Guardian
March 19, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The way Henry Waxman sees it, Congress faces two huge challenges: cutting the deficit and protecting the country from the worst consequences of climate change. Why not act on both together? Cutting the US government deficit and protecting the country from the worst consequences of climate change can go hand in hand, according to a congressman who wants to put a price on carbon emission from industry. Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who managed to pass a climate change bill through the house of representatives in 2009 – only to see it rejected in the Senate – on Monday put forward the idea that it may actually make things easier to deal with two extremely intractable and highly charged problems at once.

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Slipper steps in on tax with rare deciding vote

Sydney Morning Herald
March 20, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, has taken the unusual step of using his casting vote to save the government from an embarrassing defeat on the floor of the Parliament after a senior minister failed to show for a vote related to the carbon tax… The resulting vote saved the government from losing part of its carbon tax package – a regulation that stops logging companies claiming renewable energy subsidies by burning waste wood from native forest timber to produce electricity.The independent MP Rob Oakeshott, who signed up to the government’s clean energy package and helped deliver the carbon tax, has in recent weeks moved to challenge the forestry regulation. He launched a controversial push to disallow the regulation, giving forestry companies the green light to earn renewable energy certificates, which can be sold for profit, by burning native forest wood.

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UK Biomass Plant Will Gobble Up Imported Wood

Earth Techling
March 19, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

An island with relatively sparse domestic energy resources, the United Kingdom has been experimenting mostly with wind power as it attempts to expand its renewable energy portfolio… This month, the DECC granted permission for energy and gas company E.On Climate and Renewables to construct a 150-megawatt (MW) biomass plant that will be fueled from imported virgin wood, dedicated crops and local waste wood… But the DECC’s worry that the plant may be less than sustainable may be very real. The plant will use approximately 1.2 million tons of biomass fuel annally, 70 percent of which E.On predicts will be imported to the country by sea. 

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Bid to use ‘forestry waste’ in biomass energy projects fails by one vote

ABC News, Australia
March 20, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Federal Independent MP Rob Oakeshott’s bid to introduce an amendment allowing wastes from forestry to be used in biomass projects lead to a House vote locked at 70-70 before the Speaker added his vote to reject the move. Ballarat-based board member for the World Bioenergy Association Andrew Lang says this is a colossal lost opportunity and that the bioenergy industry has been ‘hijacked’ as Australia move towards a carbon-taxed economy.

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Cloud forests face destruction

ScienceAlert
March 19, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Many of the world’s rarest and richest forests – its high-altitude cloud forests – could be all-but obliterated by 2080 due to the combined impact of man-made climate change and habitat destruction. Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, an international scientific team has warned of the near-total loss of one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, the Mexican cloud forest, along with 70 per cent of its plant and animal species, as a result of human pressures.

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Uni’s £6m plan to hit energy targets

This is Staffordshire
March 19, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A £6 MILLION project led by Staffordshire University is to help the UK catch up in the race to hit renewable energy targets. Biomass expert Dr Sacha Oberweis, who is leading the ARBOR project, said the UK is “light years” behind the rest of Europe. Part of the scheme, which has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will involve building a biomass wood combustion boiler in Stoke-on-Trent to provide the city with renewable energy.

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